QNAP Announces AI For Storage, New NASes…And A Robot?

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Julio Urquidi

QNAP’s CES 2018 announcements show the company’s efforts to expand beyond being only a NAS maker.

QNAP is demonstrating its new AI developer kit, QuAI. QuAI helps build, train and optimize AI capabilities to work with data-intensive machine-learning applications on select QNAP NASes. The demo will use a TS-1277-1700 NAS, powered by an AMD Ryzen 7 1700 processor, with a "high-end" graphics card installed to add to the Ryzen 7’s 8-core, 16-thread 3 GHz power.

QNAP’s AfoBot is more of a stretch for the NAS maker. It’s a voice-controlled "companion" robot that can support video calling and can be used as an alarm clock, provide weather reports, automatically capture photos and perform other audio-visual duties. AfoBot is just under 11 inches tall and has built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and 32 GB of local storage.

The company will also be showing QBoat Sunny, a 12cm x 12cm single-board IoT server introduced last November.

Also being shown will be four new NASes. The TS-328 is a three-bay RAID 5 class NAS based on a Realtek RTD1296 quad-core 1.4 GHz processor with 2GB or 4GB ofRAM. Using the minimal number of disks necessary for RAID 5, the TS-328 also supports 4K transcoding/playback, snapshots, backup and file sync.

The entry-level TS-x28A comes in a 1-bay or 2-bay versions and uses Realtek’s RTD1295 quad-core 1.4 GHz processor with 1 GB RAM.

The two-bay TS-253Be and four-bay TS-453Be run on a 1.5 GHz quad-core Intel Celeron quad-core platform and come with 2GB or 4GB of RAM. Both Be’s have dual 4K HDMI outputs and a PCIe slot for optional SSD caching or upgrading to 10 GbE networking.

Finally, the TVS-x73e series will be available in 4-bay, 6-bay and 8-bay models, running an AMD RX-421BD quad-core APU and sporting up to 64 GB DDR4 RAM. Two M.2 SATA slots provide additional storage caching, while dual PCIe slots can support optional 10 GbE NICs or QNAP’s QM2 card that supports two M.2 SSD slots..

Pricing and availability all products was not provided.

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